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Chart week – Student laptops and wireless classrooms

Today is the second day of Chart Week here at Dangerously Irrelevant. Yesterday’s topic, Internet access in public schools and public school classrooms, may not have been very exciting for many of you, but I needed to create some context. I am guessing that today’s topic, student laptops and wireless classrooms, may be more interesting to most folks. All data are from the recently-released NCES report, Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2005.

Percentage of public schools lending laptops to students

As the chart below shows, about 10% of public schools reported that they lent laptops to students in 2005, about the same number as in 2002. In 2005, secondary schools (18%) were more than twice as likely to say that they lent students laptops than elementary schools (7%); these numbers also are the same as in 2002. In 2005, 15% of the schools with less than 6% minority enrollment said that they were lending laptops to students, while in schools with 50% minority enrollment or higher, only 7% said that they were lending students laptops.

Percentage of public school classrooms with wireless Internet connections

If you recall, yesterday’s post showed that 94% of public school classrooms are connected to the Internet. The chart below shows the progress that has been made in converting public school classrooms to wireless (rather than wired) connections, arguably an essential prerequisite to having students use laptops meaningfully and frequently in the classroom.

Schedule for the rest of the week

  • Wednesday – length of time public schools lend laptops to students
  • Thursday – technologies and procedures used by public schools to prevent student access to inappropriate material on the Internet
  • Friday – professional development for use of the Internet in public school classrooms

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